The powers that be have asked me, as is their custom, to write a “year in review” column. Now you might think this is a relatively easy task, but for me who cannot begin to remember what I had for dinner last night, this is a monumental challenge. I think the best way for me to prepare for this undertaking is to look at the 52 columns I wrote this year and see if any of them shake my memory.

I seem to recall visiting my doctor on several occasions and in each instance, he called me “Paul.” I wonder whether he calls Paul by my name and whether he treats me for Paul’s ailments.

I remember being overwhelmed by shopping for my fire rebuild. I sat on so many toilets I felt I might be suffering from a stomach disorder. When I finally chose a toilet I liked, I was informed that I was sitting on a bidet.

I travelled to Sequoia National Park to see the giant trees. As they grow older, the trees cease to get taller but expand in girth, just like me. I was so sore from all that walking that upon my return to Malibu, I sought a massage lady who tore me limb from limb. I felt like Mike Tyson had given me the massage.

A couple of months ago a fire in Eastern Malibu almost burnt the house down where I am staying until my home which burnt a year ago is rebuilt. I got out a garden hose and was prepared to save this house, but ended up giving myself a shower instead.  I don’t think I will ever be a fireman.

I saw an ad for brain enhancement—something I can use. The main ingredient comes from a jellyfish. I now need help from a jellyfish in order to think. It has come to that.

In the past, I always had plenty of material goods, but after the fire, I celebrated getting just about anything. It is amazing how a cheese board can generate immeasurable pleasure. There was almost nothing that people offered me I wouldn’t gladly take. That’s still true. I do understand the concept that it is better to give than to receive, but I must confess receiving is mighty fine.

I have spent considerably more time than I could ever have wanted in the belly of the Blue Whale, a gigantic building in the Design Center. I have looked at door knobs and faucets and toilet paper holders and everything else imaginable. There is far too much choice available, and if I were president, I would mandate a maximum of two choices per object. But I am not president, so I guess I will continue to browse and suffer.

Oh, I forgot to mention I am going bald, my new iPhone is pulling my pants down, and I am paying for the same dirt to be brought to and then removed from my building site.

Looking back over 2019, I can say It has been a so so year. On a scale of 1 to 10, this year has earned a solid 5. Things could have been much better, but then again, they could have been a lot worse. At least nothing I owned burned.   

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